What’s For Dinner? The Fridge Knows

July 8, 2009 at 8:10 am

If you think you needed another reason to stock your kitchen with seasonal, locally-grown foods, I’ve just discovered another.

For those people who hate the weeknight question of “what’s for dinner?”, often times your fridge or produce inventory will answer that question for you. “What’s for dinner” is often exactly what has the least shelf life.

Delicate items like squash blossoms and some greens need to get eaten right away or wind up in the compost bin. Other things don’t have much life beyond a week or so. You eat what needs to get eaten.

Last night, the “what’s for dinner” question came up and my wife mentioned that we had nine eggs in the fridge and we’d be getting another dozen from our CSA the next day (and then leaving for a three day vacation). “I guess we’re having eggs for dinner”. I also found some carrots that needed to be eaten, plus a few potatoes and some mushrooms, all of which were not quite at their best. The veggies were chopped up into a hash as a side dish for over-easy eggs: breakfast for dinner.

Sometimes this isn’t a benefit. I don’t always want a green salad with dinner, but I hate wasting food. More often than not, I appreciate the “iron chef” challenge of having the fridge tell me what tonight’s “secret ingredient” is.